At Ecolux we aim to give you unforgettable accommodation as well as an opportunity to experience the wild side of Africa by offering adventure safari activities. All the activities provided by Ecolux are done under the auspices of professional operators. Your safety and well-being is of the utmost importance to us here at Ecolux.
The following guided tours and activities can be booked through Ecolux. Please Contact Us to book any of these adventures in advance.
Kruger National Park
Early morning drive in open vehicle 04h30 – 07h30 2. Sunset drive in open vehicle 16h30 – 19h30 3.
Night drive in open vehicle 20h00 – 22h30 4. Early morning walk 04h30 – 08h30
- Warm clothing recommended for morning and night drive
- You are welcome to bring soft drinks and snacks – no alcohol allowed
- Children under 6 years not allowed in open vehicle (12 years early morning walk)
- 72 hours’ notice required to arrange and pay for external activities
- All activities away from Ecolux are self-drive unless otherwise stated
- No cancellation refunds
- T & C’s apply
Mozambique Beach Day
Macaneta beach is only 105 km from Ecolux Boutique Hotel and Spa , a mere two hours and your relaxing on the white sands sipping a Pinna-colada. You will depart from Ecolux at 6h30 with a packed breakfast to enjoy on rout. On arrival, take a deep breath, relax and absorb the beauty and tranquillity of Macaneta.
Take a long walk on the beach, swim in the warm water of the Indian ocean and just relax while taking in the beauty Mozambique has to offer. You will be transported to one of the many local restaurants where you can enjoy the taste of fresh sea food and many other popular Portuguese dishes. You will return to Ecolux after 17h00. Mozambique visa to be obtained prior to activity. South African citizens do not require a visa.
Elephant Interaction and Safari
The elephants, Tswale and Modjadji are based in the 70 ha non-Big 5 area of the reserve about 10 minutes’ drive from Kwa Madwala’s entrance gate & also about a 10 minutes’ drive from Manyatta Rock Camp. Our guests start all elephant experiences with a brief introduction to Tswali and Modjadji and a safety talk. The elephant experiences end with guests being offered the opportunity to feed the elephants with their favourite game pellets.
Elephant Interaction Experiences (no age restriction)
- A 15 minute elephant interaction – (minimum of 4 people)
- A brief introduction which includes touching, feeling and feeding the elephants.
Elephant Back Safaris for Guests (no children under 5 years)
- A one hour Elephant Back Safari
- (Maximum of 4 Adults and 2 children 5 – 12 years per safari)
- A half an hour interaction which includes touching, feeling and feeding the elephants and then a half an hour
Elephant Back Safari through the bush in a 70 ha non-Big 5 area. You might come across some sightings of wildebeest, kudu, zebras, impala and warthogs. (Maximum of 4 Adults and 2 children 5 – 12 years per safari)
Morning elephant experiences are conducted between 07h00-10h00 am in summer and winter.
Afternoon elephant experiences are conducted between 15h00-18h00 in the summer months and 14h30-17h30 in the winter months.
Winter months : 1st May to 30th September
Kwa Madwala’s Elephants Tswale and Modjadji, our two tamed Elephants were trained by Rory Hensman. Rory has worked extensively with elephants and is known as the ‘elephant whisperer’. Rory passed away about three years ago and his son, Sean Hensman is currently running Adventure With Elephants in Bela Bela in the Limpopo Province. Rory’s training techniques are based on the principles of trust, ask and reward which is the total opposite to the methods used in India where the actual spirit of the elephant is broken.
The experiences are highly recommended to anyone who would like to experience a close and personal encounter combined with the best possible education of the African Elephant, the most intelligent giants of the African bush.
Equestrian safaris are extremely popular throughout Africa and provide an exciting addition to the many other safari activities Ecolux offers. Both beginner and intermediate horse trails wind through the reserve and indigenous bush passing rocky outcrops, river beds and exceptionally scenic terrain. You are likely to see antelope, giraffe, impala, zebra, waterbuck, wildebeast and sometimes herds of wild elephant and rhino.
Small groups of only six ride with the professional supervision of the dedicated team of staff whose extensive experience guarantee you a very enjoyable time. Their passion for nature, conservation and the environment, and their involvement in the management of the game reserve make for fascinating discussions and stories while you ride, and provide you with a wealth of information about the hard work required to protect the various species in the reserve.
Breed of horse used for equine safaris The breed of horses you will ride are known as ‘Boereperde’ a word derived from the Dutch/Afrikaans word ‘boer’ meaning farmer and ‘perd’ meaning horse; this directly translates as ‘farmer’s horse’. They are now officially recognised as a breed having evolved from the inbreeding of various different horses over the years in South Africa. The result is a strong, intelligent, even-tempered animal with a trustworthy nature.
They are hardy and reliable and used extensively on the conservancy as a utility horse for tasks such a patrolling the fences and monitoring sick animals in various different terrains. They are a very fertile breed with outstanding motherly instincts and rear their offspring easily in the bushveld.
The saddles used are the McClellan ex-military saddles which are very comfortable and light in weight with the added security of a half-moon handle at the front making it difficult to fall off. There are various trails available from meandering rambles to open canters to suit most levels of riding experience and ability.
- Suggested clothing: Long trousers and shirts, closed shoes or boots.
- There is a weight limit of 105 kg.
- Children from 3 years and older are welcome if accompanied by their parents.
- 1 Hour rides
- 2 Hour rides
Your guide will set the pace according to your desire. This is an experience through the African bush that you will remember for a long time and is only a 20 minute drive from the Ecolux Boutique Hotel. This adventure is for the whole family and can be enjoyed by young and old.
The fresh water game fishing experience is the adventurous angler’s dream. The world-renowned, extreme fighting tiger fish, is indigenous to the fresh waterways of the Komati River. This species, well known for its fierceness and leaping ability, has earned the reputation of being one of the world’s toughest freshwater fish to restrain. The tiger fish vary in size, and are plentiful in this part of Komatipoort.
Tiger fishing is the truly exciting activity, which we offer. These ferocious fighting game fish are rare to South African waters however enjoy these sub tropical conditions. Good sizes have been caught in Komatipoort where the official record is 8.3kg. We provide a good selection of fishing rods, tackle and bait. Angling time are 06h00 -12h00 or 12h00 – 18h00 You are welcome to bring your own refreshments on board our fishing boats. Please that children under 6 years are not allowed on our boats.
Swaziland Day Tour
Swaziland is one of the smallest monarchies in Africa. It is a mountain’s country with some lovely scenery to be experienced by our visitors. We will take you on a tour to experience the items mentioned below. A traditional meal can be ordered at the famous Malandela’s restaurant. The Ecolux courtesy vehicle departs at 06h00 and will be back at Ecolux at about 17h00.
Batiks: Baobab Batik started in 1991 and has outlets at Malandela’s and Swazi Candles Centre. Clothing, cushion covers, table linen and the like are produced and the artists can be watched in action at the workshop near Mlilwane Game Sanctuary.
Carvings & Sculpture: Swaziland has a fine tradition of carving, both in wood and stone. Various wooden items can be found in craft markets around the country – mostly functional pieces. Stone carvers work largely with soapstone, turning their skilled hands to everything from palm-sized ashtrays to larger-than-life human sculptures.
Glass Blowing: At the Ngwenya Glass factory glass blowers can be seen creating everything from tableware to animal figurines, all from 100% recycled glass. This award-winning enterprise now exports all over the world.
Grass Weaving: Most markets and craft stalls display beautifully patterned baskets woven from grass or sisal, and coloured with natural dyes. Tintsaba, near Piggs Peak and Gone Rural at Malandelas are two inmpressive enterprises which produce and export a wide range of products and employ hundreds of local women, making a major contribution to their surrounding communities.
Jewellery: Traditional Swazi jewellery is beadwork, used in bracelets, anklets, necklaces and other accessories, with messages conveyed in the patterns and motifs. Today it ranges from ethnic pieces incorporating such natural products as seedpods and feathers, to fine items in gold and silver. You will find many Jewellery outlets in Markets in towns such as Manzini and Mbabane as well some small outlets in the Mantenga area. Quazi Design, based in Mbabane with a shop at Ngwenya Glass, transform discarded waste magazines into original accessories.
Candles: Exquisitely crafted candles come from the Swazi Candle Factory, near Malkerns where the workers do their stuff with coloured wax. This is now one of Swaziland’s main tourist attractions, and is at the centre of a complex of handicraft outfits.
Mohair Weaving: Coral Stephens established a workshop in the Piggs Peak area over 60 years ago, teaching traditional skills to local women, and producing a range of fine, hand-woven fabrics that sell worldwide. Rosecraft, south of Matsapha now creates a similar range of products using traditional techniques. Both enterprises employ many local women.
When you’re exploring a country there are few things better than stopping at a viewpoint and being rewarded with the kind of scenery that brightens your day and broadens your horizons. On the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, every viewpoint gives you that opportunity. Breathtaking views, plunging waterfalls, eagles flying above you and a rich history, quite literally, as it includes the gold rush years, are the kinds of things you better get used to when you visit the Panorama Route.
‘Guarded’ by the small town of Graskop, this famous route is home to mountains, forests and canyons, most notably, the Blyde River Canyon which is also world’s largest ‘green canyon’. The awe-inspiring Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls and Mac Mac Falls are just a short drive away. As are scenic landmarks such as Wonder View, the Pinnacle, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Widndow, where you can walk in the thick, indigenous mist forest that stands amongst the clouds some 800m above Blyde River Canyon.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes are an unusual geological formation and well worth the visit. These giant potholes formed at the confluence of the Blyde and Treur rivers and mark the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon. On top of the scenic beauty and historical learnings found on the Panorama Route, you will also experience a wealth of plant and animal life in the region, including Klipspringers, Dassies, Grey Rhebuck, Oribi, Kudu, bushbuck, bushpigs, monkeys, bushbabies, Chacma baboons, Black-Backed jackals and many specied of birdlife, including resident pairs of nesting eagles that might well look you in the eye.
Mac Mac Pools A spacious picnic site is tucked under pine trees alongside the Mac Mac River at this, your first essential stop along the Panorama Route. Quirkily named after the scores of Scottish miners who panned for gold in the gorge, the river flows over a rock ledge into a crystal clear rock pool where visitors can take a refreshing plunge in the chilly mountain water. With a rumbling audible in the distance, a walkway leads you past local vendors, along the Mac Mac River gorge and to a viewpoint which reveals the spellbinding source of the noise. This vantage point gives a bird’s eye view of the impressive twin waterfalls as they plummet 70 metres, meeting the pool below with a terrific thundering crash.
The waterfall was initially one stream, but gold miners blasted it in an attempt to prospect the rich gold-bearing ridge over which it plunges. It’s hard to get enough of this spectacle, but the Panorama Route has plenty of wonders still in wait. The trickling section of the Mac Mac River was used as a crossing point by the gold prospectors and their ox-wagons to go straight to Graskop.
Graskop Graskop does have its own charm as and by poking around you will find some of the small shops which may reveal some hidden gems. The ever-popular Harrie’s Pancakes, on the main street, is certainly not hidden, but is most definitely a gem. You won’t find better pancakes in South Africa than at this iconic restaurant and a mouth-watering array of sweet and savoury fillings are on offer at very reasonable prices. The menu lists sweet combinations such as black cherries in liqueur, banana and caramel, and fig preserve with pecan nuts, while the savoury fillings include South African favourites such as biltong, lamb bredie and bobotie, along with exotics such as Dutch Bacon and Thai-Style Chicken. Tasty vegetarian options such as Butternut and Feta and Creamy Spinach are also available.
The Pinnacle Take the R532 north out of Graskop. Just 2km on, turn onto the R534, which takes you in a loop past three exceptional viewpoints on the edge of the Mpumalanga Drakensberg escarpment. Firstly, you will arrive at the Pinnacle, a freestanding buttress of rock which rises vertically out of dense indigenous forest like a natural skyscraper. Two separate viewing decks give you different perspectives of this regal scene.
God’s Window The name sets high expectations, but God’s Window is an extraordinary place that truly lives up to this billing. A steep footpath leads you to a 900m high viewpoint perched on the edge of the escarpment, where the entire Mpumalanga Lowveld stretches spectacularly out below you in all directions. On clear days, one can see all the way to Mozambique, over 200km away. It is impossible to capture the breath-taking grandeur of this view through the lens of a camera, but a panoramic setting will get the closest to achieving this.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes Another 25km north along the R532, Panorama-Routers will turn right to enter the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, where they will find the peculiar but striking natural phenomena that are the Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Over millions of years, the churning whirlpools at the juncture between the Treur and Blyde rivers have carved out a fascinating array of large potholes in the bedrock. Sturdy bridges allow visitors to walk right above these unique marvels of nature as the river persistently continues to swirl and grind away at the rock twenty metres below.
The Potholes were named after Tom Bourke, a gold-digger who staked a claim nearby, and signal the start of the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world. A large picnic site and an informative visitor’s centre are also situated here. Watch out for the monkeys as they have been known to jump into cars!
Blyde River Canyon You will continue driving north, with the scenery now dominated by natural grassland and shrub. The turn off to the Lowveld View site is situated 5km down the road. The vantage point is 1219m high and offers a glorious view over the Blyde River Canyon, with its magnificent assortment of rocky peaks and deep valleys filled with dense indigenous forest. The Blyde River can be seen snaking through the canyon until it enters the pristine Blydepoort Dam. This large blue body of water sparkles like a sapphire contrasting against the lush greenery surrounding it.
The Three Rondawels Drive another 4.6km north to find this well known attraction. Mother Nature has once again truly outdone herself: the three massive rock edifices standing with silent grandeur in front of the viewing site and the splendour of the Blyde River Canyon spreading out in all directions makes for a mesmerizing sight.
Kambaku Komatipoort Golf Course situated in Komatipoort Mpumalanga is a 9 hole course set in the wildest corner of South Africa. At the confluence of the Crocodile and Komati Rivers along the foothills of the Lebombo mountain range. Ideally situated close to the Kruger National Park nestles a unique gem of a golf course that will challenge each and every level of Golfer. With the breathtaking Lebombo Mountains as backdrop you can retreat to the Bushveld let your dreams take flight and enjoy a slice of heaven…
Komatipoort golf course is unique in every way. A group of dedicated farmers came together as a community and begun clearing the site in 1997. Course designer Douw van der Merwe added his expertise to the layout and slowly this beautiful course set at the confluence of the Komati and Crocodile Rivers took shape. It was literally a case of your bull dozer today, my tractor tomorrow; anyone got cement, sand or perhaps you can lend a hand on the weekend?
You can understand how and why this course is a success such a great community effort with pride and love for the game of golf, Komatipoort golf course came to be. It didn’t happen over night and the grass was planted in 2001, shortly there after the course opened for play.